The decision to get onto the property ladder is a big one that many Australians today are making. With a lot of competition and a lot of options, especially in areas like Canberra, where new home building is on the rise, and Melbourne where the market continues to show resilience after years of rising prices and high demand, the stakes are really high. This is why it’s important to do your research and get things right. Even the property gurus don’t have all the answers though. So relax, do your homework, and get ready to sign the dotted line.
Do you have a recent property sales report?
Ask the vendor’s agent for a property sales report to determine the cost of similar properties in the same neighbourhood. It helps you determine whether the house is really worth the asking price. Check your finances and get pre approval for your home loan.
Why is the property being sold?
This is a very important question as it can tell you how eager the vendor is to sell the property. If the vendor has already purchased another property, they will be motivated to sell quickly. If the vendor is still looking for a new property, they might prefer a longer settlement period. You can use this valuable information to negotiate a better purchase price.
Will they deduct the cost of repairs from the purchase price?
When you’re buying a new property, don’t make any assumptions. Ask questions to get a clear picture. If the house requires repair, make sure the vendor is willing to adjust the purchase price to cover the cost of anticipated repairs.
Are there any issues with the property?
Although you can hire a building inspector to point out defects, ask the agent if they know of any issues that could affect the worth of the property. Most agents act in good faith, so it makes sense to ask and do your own research as well.
How long has the property been out for sale?
Most properties that are appropriately priced sell within six weeks (especially in Melbourne and Sydney). If the property lingers on the market even after six weeks, then there’s probably something wrong with either the price or the house itself.
Is the location good?
Ask yourself this question. Even if the property looks absolutely stunning both inside and outside, you must find out if it’s strategically located. If it’s located right next to the train tracks, close to a busy highway, or in a crime ridden suburb, start looking elsewhere.
Also investigate all the taxes, fees and other upfront costs associated with the purchase so you can make a well-informed decision when you have to.